By Peter Kennedy
Tudor Gold Corp. [TUD-TSXV, TUC-Frankfurt] is probing the limits of an already large gold-copper porphyry system in northwestern British Columbia, one that looks to have significant expansion potential as exploration continues.
The effort is led by Tudor Gold President and CEO Ken Konkin. The highly experienced geologist made his mark in the Golden Triangle area where Tudor’s flagship Treaty Creek project is located by leading the discovery of the “Valley of Kings deposit” on the nearby Brucejack gold mine.
Ranking among the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world, Brucejack is owned by Newmont Corp. [NGT-TSX, NEM-NYSE], the world’s leading gold miner and a company that is likely to be interested in the work that Konkin is doing at Treaty Creek.
Backed by financier Eric Sprott, he is attempting to repeat his previous success at Treaty Creek, which is held 60% by Tudor Gold, in a joint venture with American Creek Resources Ltd. [AMK-TSXV] Teuton Resources Corp. [TUO-TSXV] each holding a 20% interest.
In a buoyant gold market, any positive development could impact Tudor Gold shares which traded at 98 cents on January 2, 2024 in a 52-week range of $1.83 and 81 cents.
Hopes that Tudor can deliver are based on the fact that the 17,913- hectare Treaty Creek property is located on trend with some of the largest undeveloped and producing gold and copper resources in the world. Treaty Creek contains gold, and copper deposits that are hosted by the Sulphurets Hydrothermal System, the same system that hosts Seabridge Gold Inc.’s [SEA-TSX, SA-NYSE] KSM property and Newmont’s Brucejack gold mine.
KSM and Seabridge are located in the southern half of the geological system.
Treaty Creek covers the northern half of the system where geology, geophysics and exploration results all point to likelihood that the known mineralization in the southern half continues north.
Back in March, 2023, Tudor announced an updated mineral resource for the Treaty Creek project, which contains the main Goldstorm Deposit, and three additional zones (Eureka, Calm Before the Storm and Perfectstorm).
It pegged the indicated resource at the Goldstorm Deposit at 23.37 million ounces of gold equivalent (AuEq) within 641.9 million tonnes of grade 1.13 g/t AuEq, consisting of 18.75 million ounces of gold, at 0.91 g/t, 112.4 million ounces of silver at 5.45 g/t and 2.18 billion pounds of copper at 0.15%.
On top of that is an inferred resource of 7.35 million ounces of AuEq within 233.90 million tonnes at grade of 0.98 g/t AuEq, consisting of 5.54 million ounces gold at 0.75 g/t gold, 45.08 million ounces of silver at 5.99 g/t and 848 million pounds of copper at 0.16%.
The update was based on a pit constrained cut-off of 0.5 g/t AuE, and an underground cutoff grade is 0.7 g/t AuEq.
Tudor described the new estimate as an excellent foundation as the company advances the project towards a preliminary economic assessment.
The Goldstorm porphyry system consists of six separate mineral domains each boasting unique geological characteristics. Goldstorm covers an area that measures approximately 2,500 metres in length, 1,000 metres in width and 1,400 metres in depth.
The CS-600 Domain, which contains the majority of the copper that has been outlined so far in Goldstorm, hosts an indicated resource of 9.86 million ounces of AuEq, within 278.02 million tonnes at a grade of 1.10 g/t AuEq.
Goldstorm remains open in all directions and requires further drilling to determine the size and extent of the deposit.
When Konkin spoke to Resource World from his Vancouver office, Tudor had completed its 2023 drilling program. It consisted of 31,904 metres drilled within areas encompassing the Goldstorm Deposit and the Perfectstorm Zone, which is located about 1.5 kilometres to the south Goldstorm.
Assay results reported in a press release on November 28, 2023, are from three drill holes that targeted the northeast area of the Goldstorm Deposit.
The company said the highlight of the 2023 program is the remarkable continuation of higher grades of gold, copper and silver throughout the northern aspect of the Goldstorm Deposit. One of the best-looking mineralized areas of the deposit to date is the lower CS-600 domain, within hole GS-23-176-W1 which included a higher-grade interval of 273.75 m of 2.19 g/t AuEQ (1.98 g/t Au, 3.30 g/t Ag, 0.15 % Cu) that also included 123.0 m of 3.51 g/t AuEQ (3.23 g/t Au, 5.57 g/t Ag, 0.19 % Cu) and 15.0 m of 15.64 g/t AuEQ (14.89 g/t Au, 4.72 g/t Ag, 0.60 % Cu)..
“If possible, we may extend this hole during the 2024 drill program to determine if there is a continuation to the lower 27 metres of mineralization that averaged 2.41 AuEq near the bottom of this hole,’’ the company said.
Looking ahead to 2024, Konkin said drill crews will remain focused on pushing the limits of the Goldstorm deposit. “We want to grow the resource without reducing the grade,” he said.
In keeping with that goal, the company said it intends to increase the size of a previously announced private placement financing to $8.5 million.
Net proceeds will be used for work programs at Treaty Creek, which could include at least 18,000 metres of drilling and potentially as much as 30,000 metres.